An Atlanta woman who said she was duped into renting a house from a fake homeowner has been evicted along with her children.
“I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say,” Lyna McNeil told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV after she was forced to abruptly move out Thursday evening. McNeil has eight children, but at least one of her children is an adult. It's not clear how many were living with her in the house.
Animal control officers were also on the scene, taking the family dogs because they no longer had a home.
“Animal Control came and took our dogs,” said McNeil, “The children are crying because they’re taking our dogs." Animal Control did not return calls to ABC News.
McNeil's furniture and belongings were stacked in the yard Thursday evening and she spent the night in her car while her children stayed with friends, WSB-TV reported.
McNeil said that she moved into the northwest Atlanta neighborhood after renting the Caron Circle home from a man named “Shawn,” under the agreement that she would pay $750 a month after making minor repairs, WSB-TV reported.
After moving in, McNeil says she was contacted by the real homeowner, identified only as "Mr. Carr," demanding that she and her eight children leave the house.
“I have offered to pay him rent. I’ve offered to pay him security deposits, but he doesn’t want that,” McNeil told the station.
The homeowner filed an intruder affidavit with the Superior Court of Fulton County demanding that McNeil be out by Thursday, a representative from the Fulton County Sheriff’s department told ABC News. Officers arrived at the scene “to keep the peace while the order was executed,” said the representative, who said the Sheriff’s department could not comment on the issue any further.
A neighbor of the family told ABC News that the house the McNeils were living in had been empty for as long as she could remember, and the house had never been up for sale.
“I just don’t understand how somebody could rent a place that’s not theirs,” said the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.
“They were nice and polite,” the neighbor said of the McNeils. “I pray things work out for her.”
The neighbor noticed McNeil still sitting in her small station wagon with her children outside of the house at 2 p.m. Friday.
"She told me she sat out in the car all night to watch her things, and that someone had come to pick [her belongings] up this morning," the neighbor said. "She said the only reason she was still sitting there was because she had a flat tire."
"She looked like she was having a hard time," said the neighbor. "She is having a hard time."
When the neighbor returned home later in the afternoon, the car was gone.
WSB-TV reports that McNeil is getting a lot of support from the community in finding a home.
Lyna McNeil could not be immediately reached by ABC News for comment.